1.         Historic Centre of Český Krumlov (Czechia) (C 617)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1992

Criteria  (iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/617/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2003-2003)
Total amount approved: USD 10,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/617/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

January 2005: ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Revolving theatre located in the castle garden

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/617/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2011

On 31 January 2011, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, providing highly detailed information on current state of conservation issues identified by the national authorities, and responding to the requests for removal of the revolving theatre from its site in the Cesky Krumlov castle garden.

The State Party indicates that, in compliance with the applicable legislation and in particular the Land Use Planning Act and Building Act, the revolving theatre issue may not be resolved before 2015. The State Party reports that, on 27 March 2010, the Municipal Assembly approved the application to draft amendment No 1 to the Land Use Plan that is currently subject to a public consultation. The amendment includes, among others, provision for an alternative location of an open-air theatre with a revolving amphitheatre, in the “former garden centre behind the castle garden”. No further details about this new theatre location and its exact position or an impact assessment have been provided by the State Party, as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009).

a) Date for dismantling the existing theatre structure

The State Party informs that the deadline for the use of the existing revolving theatre structure has been extended to 30 September 2015, and that a new lease agreement was signed between the national authority administering the property and the owner of the revolving theatre, on 7 and 13 July 2010. The lease agreement is valid until 31 December 2015. No further dates regarding the dismantling of the theatre, or the rehabilitation of affected areas into their original condition, have been provided.

b) Use of the property for open-air theatre activities

The State Party reiterates its plans to continue using the current location of the revolving theatre for open-air cultural activities after the physical removal of the existing structure, maintaining that these new festivities will not impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property.

c) Impact of the revolving theatre

The State Party reports that two studies assessing the impact of the revolving theatre were prepared and discussed during the May 2010 International Seminar dedicated to the issue and involving ICOMOS/IFLA (International Federation of Landscape Architects) experts and relevant national authorities. The final ICOMOS/IFLA Seminar report of 2 June 2010 concluded that the revolving theatre has a negative impact on the authenticity and integrity of the castle garden, and a negative visual impact on the garden structure. Consequently, the State Party has indicated that it will undertake a prospective study taking into account the Seminar conclusions and the outcomes of the studies.

The State Party further indicates that, as a result of the global crisis and the subsequent restriction of public funding, the scheduled removal of the current theatre structure, its replacement with a new structure at a different site, and the use of the current site for open-air cultural events, may be limited due to budgetary constraints.

d) Management plan

The State Party reports that Phase I of the management plan, involving supporting materials and initial analysis, was implemented in 2009. A long-term phase II was defined in 2010 and this will have, as its main output, an electronic tool to be used in the further development of the management plan.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies recommend elaborating a Draft Statement of OUV, to be used as the basis for the further development of the management plan.

e) Other conservation issues

The State Party also provides information on other current conservation issues identified by the national authorities. In particular, these concern monument protection, legislation and zoning. Amongst other initiatives, the report informs on emerging difficulties regarding the continued adoption of traditional lime-based façade repair materials, and a number of pending major restoration projects in the historic centre including the revitalisation of two monasteries for use as a contemporary cultural and educational services complex, and the construction of a road tunnel and bridge across the Vltava river, located in the buffer zone. According to Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, the report further includes details of a range of other works and new buildings in the protected area. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies commend the efforts by the State Party in the conservation of the Historic Centre and the Castle, including the work on the preparation of the management plan. However, regarding the adoption of Phase II of the plan, there is some concern over the large number of current and pending restoration projects that is being embarked upon without the intended management tools being in place.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies underline that detailed information about any existing projects regarding development works in the protected area of the property should be submitted by the State Party to the World Heritage Centre, for its review by the Advisory Bodies.

They also remain very concerned about the unresolved issue of the revolving theatre, especially in view of the extension of use and its delayed removal until 2015. As the impact of the revolving theatre on the integrity and authenticity of the castle garden was initially confirmed by ICOMOS mission in 2005, and more recently in the 2010 ICOMOS/IFLA Seminar report, and as recognised in the State Party report, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies strongly recommend that the State Party immediately doubles its efforts in implementing the previous World Heritage Committee’s decisions; which otherwise could lead to the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger by the World Heritage Committee.

Decision Adopted: 35 COM 7B.88

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7B.97, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Recognises the efforts of the State Party to ensure the protection of the property and the progress being made in the drafting of the site management plan and encourages it to continue these efforts in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;

4. Requests the State Party in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, to develop a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value, for examination by the World Heritage Committee, as a further basis for the elaboration of the management plan;

5. Urges the State Party to continue ensuring that all current and pending restoration projects use appropriately specified traditional lime technologies, and building elements, consistent with those historically adopted;

6. Also requests the State Party to inform and seek views from the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, prior to decisions being taken, on any emerging proposals regarding the intention to rebuild the bus station and to construct a vehicular tunnel and bridge in the buffer zone;

7. Deeply regrets that the State Party has not respected the time schedule for dismantling the revolving theatre as laid out in Decision 33 COM 7B.97, and that the use of the revolving theatre at its current location has been extended until 2015;

8. Strongly urges the State Party to speed up the process of dismantling the revolving theatre and rehabilitating the affected area, and reiterates its request to the State Party to submit the detailed project for the final location of the new theatre and an impact assessment on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for World Heritage cultural properties;

9. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, a report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the requests above, including a detailed plan and schedule for the relocation of the revolving theatre and mitigation of all its negative impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013, with a view to considering, in the case of confirmation of the ascertained or potential danger to the Outstanding Universal Value, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 35 COM 8D

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/8D,

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 8D, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Recalls that the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies will not be able to examine proposals for minor or significant modifications to boundaries of World Heritage properties when the delimitation of such properties as inscribed is unclear;

4. Acknowledges the excellent work accomplished by States Parties in the clarification of the delimitation of their World Heritage properties and thanks them for their efforts to improve the credibility of the World Heritage List;

5. Takes note of the clarifications of property boundaries and areas provided by the following States Parties in response to the Retrospective Inventory, as presented in the Annex of Document WHC-11/35.COM/8D:

6. Requests the European, Arab and African States Parties, which have not yet answered the questions raised in the framework of the Retrospective Inventory, to provide all clarifications and documentation as soon as possible and by 1 December 2011 at the latest.